NEW Create Your Own Sundaes and Specialty Drinks at Contemporary Grounds

Contemporary Grounds — your Contemporary Resort’s one-stop Joffrey’s kiosk for on-the-go beverages and snacks now offers specialty drinks and make your own sundaes to Walt Disney World visitors.

contemporary grounds

Possibly unique to this location (let us know if you spot them elsewhere!!), this Dippin Dots version of the Create Your Own Sundaes are especially fun!

With the combination of ice cream choices, personally selected toppings, and a variety of portion options, these dishes really deliver on personalization!

Go ahead and customize your own refreshing treat.

Create Your Own Sundae

Create Your Own Sundae

These sundaes are made with a selection of Dippin’ Dots flavors! (Read: Tiny spheres of ice cream.)

Dippin' Dots

Dippin’ Dots

You know how we love our treats; we suggest ordering the LOL (lots of layers). And send us a picture when you do!

Various sundae sizes

Various sundae sizes

Of course, there’s [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

If you’re a Disney Food Fan, then 2013 has been an exciting year!

Disney food news stories of 2013

We’ve had lots of  change, new announcements, and brand new experiences.

So today, we thought we’d take a look back at this year, and review the Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

From new coffee to new restaurants, new technology to new ice cream, we have a ton to cover!

Let’s get started!


When Starbucks and Disney announced in 2012 that the coffee giant would be coming to Disney Parks, the news was huge! And when the first Walt Disney World locations began opening in 2013, the story once again topped the list of Disney food headlines.

Starbucks at Main Street Bakery is Right in the Middle of the Magic

The first location to open was Main Street Bakery on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA. While some loyal fans of the historic spot decried the chain store intrusion, many coffee lovers were thrilled that they could now enjoy their favorite brew in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle.

And with the Main Street cinnamon rolls available at Gaston’s Tavern (at least they claim they’re the same…you can see our cinnamon roll throw down here!), well — at least not all of our favorite goodies are lost.

A Busy Morning at Main Street Bakery

The reopening of Fountain View Cafe in Epcot as the second WDW Starbucks location seemed to ruffle fewer feathers, since the themeing for the futuristic ice cream parlor wasn’t as beloved as Main Street Bakery. Still, patrons were irked with the lack of seating, even if the many, many bays for ordering mean that your java arrives fresh and fast.

Have Your Starbucks in Epcot with a View of Spaceship Earth

But Starbucks wasn’t the only coffee news we debated in 2013. Disney also announced that Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company, headquartered in Tampa, would become the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Joffrey’s is Named the Official Coffee Brand of Disney Parks

We’ve been enjoying Joffrey’s products for ages at the kiosks throughout the parks, so this was welcome news to many. So far, we are hearing that you seem pleased with the switch from Nescafe to Joffrey’s.


Waaaaayyyyy back in January of this year, we first wrote about how we thought My Magic+ would affect Disney Dining.


And before the year was out, we had the opportunity to see just how some of the new technology would work.

One of the most intriguing uses of MyMagic+ technology was the Touch to Pay System. We had an opportunity to put our Magic Bands to work with the new system, and Erin, our Disney Food For Families columnist, documented the process so our readers could be in the know!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

And while we love the Magic Band concept, even cooler is all the Disney food bling that you can get to individualize your bracelet! I’m a sucker for the cupcake!

Magic Band Food Bling

Magic Band Food Bling


Another rumor that came to fruition was that [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Coffee!

Aaaaaahhhh…Coffee. Some of us simply can’t get the old motor cranking in the morning without it! And there have been some changes to the coffee world in Disney parks these days!

We thought it would be fun to show off some of the pictures that YOU have captured of java in our regular feature, Disney Food Pics of the Week. Thanks to those readers who shared with us a little of their Disney trip by posting on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

If you’d like to get in on the fun, head over to Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr and join the group. We’d love to see even more of your great food shots! Let’s see what you’ve found!

Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Main Street Bakery

The real victory for many coffee lovers at Disney parks has been the opening of Starbucks in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The first location opened at Walt Disney World transformed fan favorite Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom to a mix of part bakery, part retro coffee shop.

While reviews have been a somewhat mixed, many guests are super happy to stroll down Main Street USA with their favorite Seasonal Iced Latte in hand!

Photographer: ernobrn0918

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Main Street Bakery

Vacuum Pot Coffee at Victoria & Albert’s

But then, if you are looking for the most prestigious pot of coffee anywhere in all of Walt Disney World…well, you just knew it would be Victoria & Albert’s that delivered, right?

This is coffee as theater, my friends, and it’s just as dramatic and delicious as it looks.

Photographer: Spikey1967

Cona Vacuum Pot from Victoria and Albert's

Press Pot Coffee From Kouzzina

Kouzzina is Chef Cat Cora’s Greek-leaning restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. In relatively short order, this [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: The Market House Reopens as Starbucks!

In “better late than never news” (sorry, I’ve completely lagged on this post), The Market House on Disneyland’s Main Street USA has reopened as Starbucks — and it’s gorgeous!

Market House on Main Street USA

The Market House is the second Starbucks location to open at the Disneyland Resort, following the one inside of Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe.  A third is currently being built in Downtown Disney.

In my opinion, Disney has done a fantastic job at imagineering the themes of Starbucks to fit right in with the resort.  Overall, the Market House has kept much of its quaint decor, but it’s been updated with a larger queue area and more seating.

Market House Starbucks in Disneyland

When you walk up to the Market House, you will notice that the Starbucks signage is very subtle.  In fact some of the windows don’t even have a Starbucks logo.

Market House Window

The windows that do have Starbucks signage are more vintage looking; not the typical obvious green logo that we are used to seeing on every corner.  The window below is near the main entrance of Market House.

Starbucks Logo on the Window of Market House

There are still two entrances to Market House. Below is the back entrance which is also the main exit.  You can see that the Starbucks themeing here, printed coffee [Read more…]

Review: Iced Coffee at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Today, we’re stopping by Isle of Java at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a quick caffeine jolt!

You’ll find this little kiosk once you meander through the Discovery Island Oasis exhibits in the middle of the park. It’s stationed just outside of Disney Outfitters.

Isle of Java

A peek at the menu here actually turns up some really interesting options! You can, for instance, have an Island Cappuccino, which features white chocolate — and Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum! Note to self: remember this. :-)

But the real news here are some of the pastry options on the menu — especially the Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake!

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

This is one of my fa-vor-ite cupcakes in Animal Kingdom (next to the Elephant cupcake, of course)!

Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake

They also had a few other goodies, like freshly baked cookies and the Turtle Brownie!


Turtle Brownie at Disney's Animal Kingdom

But plain and simple, I was hot and needed a little jolt of java. So I went with [Read more…]

Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Dude. If you haven’t been to Writer’s Stop, YOU. MUST. GO.

Seriously, Writer’s Stop remains one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. Even though they’ve re-vamped the place since I initially fell in love with it (and got rid of my favorite little window seat in favor of a coffee flavoring station…hmph…), the charm of this place is not matched in any other Disney coffee joint.

Tucked into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little bookstore-slash-coffee shop has been around since the 1990s. It’s so cozy — and often uncrowded — so when I stop in I always feel a little bit more like I “live” at Disney World. :-)

I’m pretty sure this is going to be the spot where Starbucks infiltrates Hollywood Studios (no official information, of course — just my personal prophecy), so if you’re going to check it out in its initial incarnation, I suggest you head over there ASAP… .

Writer's Stop -- Outside


If you don’t pay attention, you could easily think that Writer’s Stop is just a clever bit of scenery amid the other storefronts at Studios. Especially since it sits right next to the Streets of America backlot area. But the rolls of film and vintage percolators in the windoe herald a real, honest-to-goodness coffee and bookshop.

Step inside, and you’ll recognize the themeing immediately. The little storefront gives the impression that it’s a hangout for writers situated in the corner of a studio. A makeshift counter has been fashioned out of crates, and studio equipment adorns the walls.

Writer's Stop -- Inside

Writer’s Stop actually began as a play on the set of Buy the Book, the fictional bookstore in the sitcom Ellen, which starred Ellen DeGeneres and aired during the nineties (thus the studio lights up above). When the series went by the wayside, Buy the Book morphed into Writer’s Stop — and gained a happy place in the hearts of Disney fans.

Be sure to take a slow look around Writer’s Stop. First off, they really [Read more…]

From Coffee to Margaritas: The Transformation of Disney World’s BoardWalk Joe’s!

Disney is always making headlines for their big changes.

The Slow Transformation of Boardwalk Joe's from Coffee to Margaritas

Park updates like MyMagic+, Disneyland’s Cars Land, Disney World’s New Fantasyland get tons of exposure, as they should.

But I think it’s always interesting to look at the not-so-publicized changes that happen without fanfare, too.

A case in point is a little kiosk called BoardWalk Joe’s, located across from Cat Cora’s Kouzzina on the Disney World BoardWalk.

Over the last few years, Disney World has really changed its tune at this spot, transforming it from a coffee stop to a margarita place! Let’s take a look… .

It’s easy to feel nostalgic while strolling the boardwalk where BoardWalk Joe’s once specialized in coffee — we even wrote a whole post that highlighted it!

Boardwalk Joe's was all about coffee!

But a couple of  years ago, Joe’s added some specialty seasonal items, like this Caramel Apple Margarita! This was the first sign of BoardWalk Joe’s transformation…

Caramel Apple Margarita!

And the Frozen Grapefruit Margarita made a seasonal appearance last summer.

Grapefruit Margarita!

Over a couple of years, we kept seeing more and more “specialty” items via this [Read more…]

News! Joffrey’s Coffee Named As Official Disney Coffee Provider

According to the Orlando Business Journal, Disney has partnered with Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. as the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Disney’s announcement that it has developed an alliance with the Tampa-based Joffrey’s company is great news for guests that have been less than delighted with the Nescafe offerings at the Disney parks and resorts.

(This announcement does not affect the presence of Starbucks coffee locations that will be arriving in six spots throughout Disney World and Disneyland over the next few years.)

Since 1995, Joffrey’s has operated kiosks that serve their coffee brand throughout Walt Disney World. Now, the brand will be present at select Disney restaurants, resort hotels, quick-service restaurants, and as self-service options in hotel rooms.

Transportation and Ticket Center Joffrey

“We are thrilled to be creating unique coffee blends exclusively for Disney guests,” said Chris de Mezzo, Joffrey’s roastmaster and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. “After all, a Disney vacation is like [Read more…]

Review: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table at the Grand Floridian Resort

Today, we travel up the elegant stairway to the pinnacle of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Join me for an unparalleled experience as I take you behind the opulence to the excitement and camaraderie of the Chef’s Table! And let me tell you… it’s AWESOME!!

Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel in Disney’s culinary offerings. And while it is certainly expensive (that might be an understatement), I aim to show you that for the true food lover, the Chef’s Table experience is worth every penny.

By the way, if you read through this review and decide the Chef’s Table is not for you, you can also dine in the Dining Room to the more intimate Queen Victoria Room.

Victoria and Albert's Plate

Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s go quickly. It is recommended that you book as close to 180 days out as possible. As for cost, the menu is prix fixe, meaning that you pay a set price for the meal. Expect your meal to begin at $135 per person for the Dining Room, with an additional charge of $65 for wine pairings. That price includes six courses. Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table menus may include up to thirteen courses, and prices start at $210/person for dinner and $105 for wine pairings. Keep in mind that these prices do not reflect tax or gratuity, so be prepared.

While Queen Victoria’s Room offers the height of elegant dining, the Chef’s Table provides interested guests full access to the restaurant’s culinary team in a meal that is as much performance as it is sustenance.


Once you check in for your reservation at the Chef’s Table, you are escorted through the well appointed (and very quiet!) main dining room. You’ll notice low light, beautiful fresh flowers, and the strains of harp music. The whole effect is quite romantic and very formal. There is a strict dress code here, and men must wear jackets.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

The Dining Room consists of a mere fourteen tables, beautifully set with spotless crystal and china. Very chi chi.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

We followed the debonaire Maître d’hôtel, Israel Perez, through this space and into the brightly lit kitchen. At that time, we were informed that Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel would not be joining us because of a conflicting event. In his place, Sous Chef Aimée Rivera would guide us through our meal.

Maître d'hôtel Israel Perez and Chef Rivera

Both Mr. Perez and Chef Rivera were phenomenal, and it’s clear that their passion and driving force is the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Chef Rivera invited us to interact at will with the kitchen staff, and suggested that we voice any and all questions that we might have (Mua ha ha ha!!! She didn’t know just how annoying I can be!).

An interesting fact: once you are seated, you can’t [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Are Disney Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost?

We’ve packed tons of great Disney Dining info into our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013! Today, let’s check out another great tip from the Guide!

Disney Refillable Mugs: Worth the Cost?

With another price hike last year, Disney refillable resort mugs at Disney World resorts now cost $15.49 plus tax.

Those with the Disney Dining Plan get theirs for free, but the rest of us would need to pay out of pocket for the mugs, which are infinitely refillable at certain locations within your resort during your length of stay.

Worth it? Well… yes and no. We’ve got both arguments represented below, so take a look to see which camp you fit into!

Are Disney World Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost

Refillable Mugs And Park Commandos

If you spend the majority of your time at the parks, the refillable mug may not be worth the out-of-pocket cost for your family. Consider these circumstances before you buy:

Use Times

If your family is full of park commandos, you’re probably racing out to each theme park opening in the early morning and returning to your resort shortly before the food court closes. Your refillable mug will spend more time sitting in your resort room than actually in use, since you can’t refill in the theme parks.

Distance to refill station can be far

After traipsing with the kids in the parks all day, it may be a lot of extra steps from your room to the mug refill station.

And remember, many resorts don’t have an option for refills after the counter-service spots close around 11pm or midnight. That means no refills after evening Extra Magic Hours in most parks.

Current Refillable Mug Information (BoardWalk)

Could save cash by buying offsite

If you’ve driven to the Mouse’s House from your hometown, or rented a vehicle once you landed in Orlando, you may want to stop at a nearby offsite store to pick up [Read more…]